What is Chenin Blanc?

by tarynlachter
Continuing with our recent theme of discussing grapes born in the Loire Valley, we present to you another gorgeous grape that many tend to overlook: the Chenin Blanc. 

This fabulous white grape comes from France, particularly in the ever famous Loire Valley.

It made its way to South Africa in the 1600s where it’s become increasingly popular.

Around the 1970s, Chenin Blanc was actually removed from vineyards in France to make way for the Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.

Continuing with our recent theme of discussing grapes born in the Loire Valley (see our last pieces on Cabernet Franc and Riesling), we present to you another gorgeous grape that many tend to overlook: the Chenin Blanc. 

This fabulous white grape comes from France, particularly in the ever famous Loire Valley, but made its way to South Africa in the 1600s where it’s become increasingly popular. Around the 1970s, Chenin Blanc was actually removed from vineyards in France to make way for the Cab Franc and Sauvignon Blanc but then came back to life when the wine community had a taste for sweet dessert wines.

It’s incredibly versatile, actually, with a unique variety of tastes varying from the sweeter side to the dry whites and bubblies. What is truly wonderful about a Chenin Blanc is the medium to high levels of acidity that you’ll find no matter where it comes from. There is a huge range of fruit flavors you can get from this lovely white grape from pear and quince to melons and oranges and even very specific notes of dessert like baked apples with honey. 

Many Chenin Blancs take on qualities that can resemble a Chardonnay but are a bit more robust in their palate. These can demonstrate flavors of buttered popcorn or even graham crackers when they’ve been aged in oak. 

Because of the terroir of the Loire Valley which is a very northern region of France, temperatures can get fairly low, which poses an interesting element to the Chenin Blanc which is harvested late. In fact, in the seasons when it gets much warmer, like those long autumns, the grape can be subject to noble rot. It sounds gross but in fact, this is the mold that is known for creating some of the most spectacular sweet wines because of the way it causes the skins to shrivel and allow the juices to concentrate and create that fabulous rich taste. Unless it’s subject to these specific conditions, Chenin Blancs tend to be on the drier side with that marvelous acidity that it’s famous for, which can also create delicious sparkling wines. 

Despite these amazing qualities, Chenin Blanc still tends to be forgotten about on the grand scale, constantly overlooked by Vouvray (another lovely sweet white from France) or even Sauvignon Blanc which has less of a range but takes the world as one of the most popular white wines. If you’re excited to try this beauty, which you should be, only look for those that come from the Loire Valley or South Africa to ensure you’re truly experiencing the best it has to offer. 



FEATURED EVENTS

New York Wine Events

November 9, 2019

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Crush: Fall Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

October 19, 2019

Chelsea, NYC

NYC Autumn Wine and Food Festival

Highlighted by Grubstreet & New York Magazine as a “destination wine and food event”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 24, 2019

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Alex Bugnon & Marc Antoine

A meeting of 2 contemporary jazz giants

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 10, 2019

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Peter White

An evening with an extraordinary guitarist and performer

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 3, 2019

Manhattan, Chelsea Piers

Rosé Splash

Midsummer cruise

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 20, 2019

Riverhead

Summer Rose and Bubbly Fest

At a 200-acre vineyard. Half indoors (air-conditioned), half outdoors (ventilated tent). Free, cold bottled water & seltzer.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

July 13, 2019

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Spyro Gyra

A great opening evening for 2019

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 29, 2019

Lake George, NY

Adirondack Wine & Food Festival 2019

The 5th annual event is June 29 & 30th in scenic Lake George, NY.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 22, 2019

Riverhead

North Fork Crush Wine & Artisanal Food Festival

Forget Napa–sample world class wines at a stunning vineyard without leaving New York!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 19, 2019

Pierre Hotel / Perrine restaurant

Fête de la Musique at Perrine

An Outdoor Festival

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

June 4, 2019

Soho, NYC

Zinfandel Experience New York City

Sample the finest wines we present all year long.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

May 18, 2019

Marlboro, NY

Wines & Bites!

Hudson Valley’s yummiest wine and food tasting event

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

May 11, 2019

Industry City, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Crush: Spring Edition

Forget the plane tickets to Napa – hop the subway to Sunset Park, where we’ve transformed Industry City into a wine region!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

May 6, 2019

Chelsea, NYC

Oregon Wine Trail in New York City

60 Wineries sampling

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 26, 2019

New York, NY

NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting 2019

Join us on March 26th at the Rainbow Room in NYC for our next Grand Tasting!

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

March 9, 2019

New York's #1 Winter Tasting

NYC Winter Wine Festival

Bid the cold adieu (for a few hours) at the NYC Winter Wine Festival

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

January 17, 2019

IC Wine Club – Wine Tasting with Moore Brothers Wine Company

Back for another seasonal tasting

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

November 10, 2018

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Crush: Fall Edition

Experience the event Thrillist said was one of the things “You Absolutely Have to Do in NYC.”

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

October 20, 2018

Chelsea

NYC Autumn Wine Festival

Named by Grubstreet & New York Magazine as a destination wine and food event.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

September 1, 2018

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: Vincent Ingala and Lindsey Webster

New York Wine Events is thrilled to present Vincent Ingala and Lindsey Webster at the spectacular Jamesport Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island.

PURCHASE TICKETS
New York Wine Events

August 25, 2018

Jamesport, NY

Jazz In The Vines: David Benoit and Marc Antoine

New York Wine Events is thrilled to present David Benoit and Marc Antoine at the spectacular Jamesport Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island!

PURCHASE TICKETS

RELATED WINE BLOGS

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

Wines to Drink at the End of Summer
We’re having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that summer is almost over. Labor Day Weekend signifies the end of the season, with schools starting and temperatures cooling down. It’s most likely going to stay warm for a little while longer but the mornings and evenings will get a little chilly and - Read More
Read more...

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Wine to Pair with Tacos
  Okay, we know Taco Tuesday is usually accompanied by margaritas, but hear us out. How about wine instead? Sure, it’s unconventional but we really have yet to find a circumstance when a wine isn’t the right choice. Tequila goes with pretty much every kind of taco which makes it easy, but wine can be - Read More
Read more...

Wednesday, August 14th, 2019

Seyval: A French Grape That Thrives in NY State
  The cold weather that strikes the northern parts of New York is good for only a few things: snow, ice skating, and hybrid grapes. Now, not all grapes thrive in these wicked temperatures but luckily for us, scientists are awesome and have actually created new grape varietals that are intended specifically for these regions. - Read More
Read more...
LOAD MORE